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Rail services in northeast restored partially

Silchar (Assam), Oct 7 (Calcutta Tube) Rail services between the northeastern states of Tripura, Manipur, Mizoram and southern Assam and the rest of India were restored partially Thursday after 114 days of disruptions, a railway official here said.

The train services were suspended June 15 following heavy landslides caused by incessant rains and damage to tracks.

‘The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has resumed direct train services between Lumding in southern Assam and Agartala again. However, the authority has decided to suspend the running of the special daily express train between Lumding and Silchar due to some technical reasons,’ a NFR spokesman told reporters.

The metre gauge railway line from Guwahati passes through southern Assam’s mountainous North Cachar Hills district connecting landlocked Tripura’s capital Agartala and parts of Manipur and Mizoram with the rest of India.

Goods trains on this section resumed services July 3 after the track was repaired partially in the area, 300 km south of Assam’s main city Guwahati.

According to a senior Tripura government official, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had earlier asked Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar to personally ensure regular delivery of food grain, fuel and other essential items to the northeastern states.

‘In view of the suspension of railway services, the supply of food grain and transport fuels was badly affected in Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur and southern Assam for the past few months,’ Tripura Food and Civil Supplies Minister Manik Dey told IANS.

Meanwhile, the Tripura and Mizoram governments have asked the central government and the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to build a buffer stock of rice and other essential commodities for the northeastern states.

Rail transport is the main mode of transport in the landlocked region for supplying foodgrain and other important goods.

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